Tonight, Miss Botswana 2021- Palesa Molefe’s reign will come to an end as the next queen will be chosen from of a bevy of 10 brainy beauties who will be competing for the coveted crown in a glitzy ceremony to be held at the Fairscape Precinct Mo’s Open Table!
It has been an eventful last 5 days that began on Tuesday with the official launch of a new crown, locally-designed by LA Calla and manufactured by KGK Diamonds.
On Thursday morning , reigning Miss World 2021/22, Karolina Bielawska of Poland, landed in the capital to a pleasant reception, not just from the ever-radiant and congenial Palesa Molefe accompanied by the top 10 finalists of this year’s competition, but Batswana in general.
MmaMpale, as fans of the outgoing queen affectionately refer to her, was hugely instrumental in this historic visit, a first for Miss World to grace the local pageant grand finale. Molefe evidently created lasting bonds during the weeks leading up to the Miss World 2021 ceremony in Puerto Rico thanks to her sunny disposition, quite the ambassador… indeed the 22-year-old has set the bar high!
Despite the late communication regarding a change in the programme, Bielawska arrived on time and was whisked away to Cresta Lodge shortly after a photo op with Palesa and the 10 hopefuls: Alipo Makosha (26), Cheshe Tsayang, Cynthia Kalayakgosi (25), Goitsemodimo Jogwe (25), Gontlafetse Oagile, Lesego Chombo, Lesego Sejai (21), Lorato Kgangyapelo (22),
Sebaga Manyapetsa, and Tshepo Nthaga (24).
A beauty expo and panel discussion hosted by Development Advance Institution (DAI) in collaboration with Miss Botswana, themed ‘Botswana Beauty Industry – The Real Missing Link to Economic Diversity’ was held at Cresta Lodge Thursday afternoon. Bielawska warmed many hearts when she took to the stage and greeted attendants in Setswana, “Dumelang!” and explained that she’d learnt the word earlier at the airport and was surprised that everyone could ululate like Palesa. She further said, “It is a blessing to travel around the world to meet new people, wherever we go, we try to leave the communities we visit better than we found them, through philanthropy.”
Molefe in turn thanked her counterpart for accepting the invitation and gave a word of advise to the Top 10 finalists, “Remember, you have only one crown. Don’t take rejection as failure but as a new chapter; just smile and enjoy the moment, create new friendships and keep them.”
Organisers of the pageant said the purpose of the expo and panel discussion was to discuss the beauty industry and how it can be used as a tool for economic diversification as well as “establish a vast network of connections in the beauty industry, to learn and benchmark and see how the industry can take the country forward”.
Speaking at the expo, Executive Producer, Benjamin Raletsatsi, explained the organisation is a key players in the beauty industry; “We add the biggest currency in the world right now; content. If you have good content, the world is going to buy it and that’ll create wealth and employment opportunities for young people. We have an industry that can revolutionise Botswana, a beauty industry country, we do beauty for a living!” he said, and excitedly declared, “We got Miss World here, didn’t we?” he asked rhetorically and went further to thank their sponsors Cresta Lodge, Brand Botswana, BDC, Urban Soul, Clicks, Keno Suits among others.
The event host, Botswana’s export to South Africa, media personality – O’Neal Zibanani Madumo, acknowledged the sterling job done by the Miss Botswana team thus far before introducing panelists: Molefi Nkwete of Urban Soul, a Clicks Botswana representative – Thembi Dikobe and Hayley Bryson of COTY, who spoke about understanding the beauty industry and the entire value chain of the sector and the country’s potential to be a global or regional leader in the beauty space. Thembi of Clicks, opined, “The beauty industry is all about making someone feel good about themselves.”
Later in the day, the Miss Botswana team held a farewell gala dinner for the outgoing queen, Palesa Molefe, who spoke about the importance of the ‘beauty with a purpose’ aspect of pageantry and also made a surprise announcement. “When you enter Miss World, the one thing you have to have is beauty with a Purpose. This is your project, your fire, your ambition; what you advocate for, and my advocacy is mental health. I am proud to announce that my team and myself – because it takes a village – have finally registered the Palesa Olerato Molefe Foundation,” she said, and added that besides mental health, the key focus areas include education and the arts and culture, as she is a creative. She also thanked the De Beers Group for their support as well as her guest, the 70th Miss World, Karolina Bielawska, for honouring the invitation.
Other events of the week included a cook-off at IDM this morning by the Top 10 finalists, a spring-themed meet and greet, as well as a visit by Molefe and her guest of honour, Bielawska, to Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture, Tumiso Rakgare to discuss the 2 queens’ Beauty with a Purpose Projects.
“The Beauty with a Purpose is an event established in 1972 that is celebrated during the activities prior to the Miss World pageant. It awards the contestant with the most relevant and important charity project in her nation,” reads a post on the official Facebook page.
STEPPING OUT IN STYLE: Palesa Molefe (pic. #MissBotswana2022)